KOTA BELUD has the largest acreages of paddy fields in Sabah, making them the state’s main rice-producing district.
And one can marvel at the magnificent paddy field views with Mount Kinabalu at the backdrop while on the way to Kampung Tempasuk Satu, off Jalan Sangkir Dua.
The quaint village is located three kilometres away from Kota Belud town. It is easily accessible by vehicles as the road leading there is tarred.
The whole stretch of the road can be seen painted with beautiful green paddy fields, and it will turn into a stunning yellowish golden scene when the paddies begins to ripe.
And right before the picturesque landscape is Karanahan View, meaning paddy field view when translated into English.
Karanahan View is a 1.5-acre recreation centre and it was launched in 31 August 2019 to celebrate the National Day. It is open to visitors from 7am to 6.30pm daily with a minimal entry fees for both adults and children.
It is an ideal place for relaxation among friends and loved ones as they can spend some quality time together to enjoy the laidback village lifestyle, its owner, Michael Asik said.
Michael who works at the Royal Malaysian Customs Department said the recreation centre was developed from his family land as it is sited strategically around the paddy fields with Mount Kinabalu in the perspective.
The recreation centre offers fun water related activities for the visitors such as paddle boat, water roller, floating boat, water ball and fishing at the man-made lake. The fees for the games are ranging from RM10 to RM15.
The site is also very windy during the afternoon, providing a perfect place to fly kites, he said, adding that kites and children bicycles are available for rent too.
He also started to breed some rabbits for visitors to see and hold as cuddling the cute rabbits is also known as a therapy for relaxation.
According to Michael, the Karanahan View was started with providing accommodation for outstation visitors who came to Kota Belud to attend wedding receptions and other social functions.
“There are visitors coming to the village asking for rooms for overnight stay. This is how it’s began way back in 2013. The bamboo-made double storey house has six rooms with three each on each of floors,” he said.
Since the visitors continued to trickled in, he decided to build a pond for fishing and feeding activities, before the water-related games were added to attract more visitors to come.
The recreation centre was built on a reclaimed paddy field and overtime some resting huts were erected and the landscape was beautified with colourful hanging umbrellas and photo booth depicting the panoramic view of the paddy fields with Mount Kinabalu as the backdrop.
However, there is no cafeteria to serve the visitors but they can order the traditional food and drinks upon request from the operator before they come to the site. The visitors can dine at the resting huts while enjoying the afternoon breeze.
The main attraction of Karanahan View is the picturesque views of the rice fields with Mount Kinabalu in the distance, he said.
“We are promoting the traditional way of planting and harvesting paddies in this place as nowadays the younger generation are not interested to do these activities, furthermore, we are using machines to plough the lands now.
“We want to introduce to the visitors how the paddy is planted using the basic tools including plowing on the muddy fields with water buffaloes as such practice is almost extinct now.
“We want to preserve the traditional practice because this is part of the farming culture of the local people. We want our visitors to experience a glimpse of our past,” Michael said.
He recalled the use of machine to plow and plant the paddies were started in the 1990s to speed up the planting process as new variety of seeds were introduced.
More facilities for the visitors will be slowly added to boost the attraction.